SAN FRANCISCO — There was nothing subtle about Oracle CTO Larry Ellison’s message during his mid-week keynote at OpenWorld, the company's annual user conference here: He had nothing nice to say about Amazon Web Services (AWS).

He spent nearly an hour onstage describing AWS as slow, closed, less secure and inferior to Oracle Cloud. He also challenged audience members to verify his claims by directly comparing AWS to Oracle’s upgraded, second-generation cloud.

“These are all facts and if you want to refute them, try and refute them,” he said.

AWS representatives did not immediately respond to CMSWire's request for comment.

Ellison Calls Out Redshift, Security

At times, the keynote felt more like like a criminal prosecution, with Ellison detailing all of Amazon’s misdeeds and why it wasn’t worthy of storing anyone’s data.

According to a series of benchmark tests, Ellison said, Amazon is 24 times slower than Oracle Cloud at running Oracle databases. While it may seem obvious that Oracle would perform better with its own product, Ellison even challenged Amazon to rerun the tests and provide the results for Oracle to publish.

But Ellison didn't stop there. He also called out Amazon's Redshift cloud-based data warehouse, claiming the database doesn't include basic features that have been common in Oracle technology since the 1980s. To make the point about its obsolescence, he included images of giant, brick-sized mobile phones in his slide presentation.

In some respect, he was late to the Say Bad Things About Redshift game: In an exclusive interview with CMSWire’s Virginia Backaitis in early 2015, Microsoft Corporate Vice President T. K. “Ranga” Rengarajan also threw down the gauntlet with Amazon. He challenged Redshift to scale the way Microsoft’s new Azure SQL Data Warehouse does, with respect to both compute size and storage capacity.

'Oracle Is More Secure'

Ellison further attacked AWS for being a closed system. He noted that Amazon’s database products can only be used through AWS, while Oracle’s database products can also be used with AWS, Microsoft Azure or even a company’s own set of servers as well as the Oracle Cloud.

Learning Opportunities

He also played up the security prowess of the Oracle Cloud, describing it as an “island network” with a connection only Oracle can control versus a public cloud.

“It makes our network much more secure. Here at Oracle, especially given our history, security is job one,” he said. 

“As the world moves to these large, public clouds there are going to be more attacks. We have to be constantly vigilant. That means using fancy technology like machine learning to analyze the data so attacks can be stopped right as they start."

Oracle Needs to Prove Itself

Gartner Managing VP Chad Eschinger, who regularly offers analysis of Oracle, told CMSWire the company is on the right track. But he added that it needs to prove itself since it’s so far behind its competitors.

With Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Oracle has established "a thoughtful foundation from which it will be immediately competitive against some providers, but more so in the coming years as it further builds out its capabilities,” he said. “ We need to keep in mind that it's years behind but able to leverage new technology and years of lessons learned enabling it to ramp much more quickly.”

That’s certainly what Oracle wants as it pushes companies to take its on-site applications and network and launch all of them into its cloud.

“You move your existing data, your existing applications, your existing network and its IP addresses and move it to the cloud,” Ellison said. “That’s the future.”